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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Cow, bull and steer beef prices up, but bulls back

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), beef prices were “steady” across plants in Northern Ireland this week (October 2021).

It reported in its weekly market that base quotes for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle ranged from 386-394p/kg.

In the same week in 2020, quotes for U-3 grade prime cattle varied from 354-360p/kg.

Prices for O+3 grade cows continued to range from 260-300p/kg.

Last week, prime cattle throughput amounted to 8,032, an increase of 468 head from the previous week.

This is an increase of 614 head compared to the same week in 2020 when cattle throughput reached 7,418 head.

October 2021 beef prices

“The Northern Ireland deadweight trade for prime cattle reported a mixed performance last week.”

  • The average steer price was up 0.3p/kg to 392.2p/kg, while the R3 steer price was back 0.4p/kg to 400.8p/kg. In the same week, last year, the R3 steer price in NI was 367.3p/kg, 33.5p/kg behind current levels. “This equates to an additional £117 on a 350kg steer carcase.”
  • The average heifer price was back 0.4p/kg to 395.1p/kg, while the R3 heifer price was up 0.8p/kg to 403.2p/kg.
  • The average young bull price fell 0.5p/kg to 374.6p/kg, while the R3 increased by 2.3p/kg to 388.9p/kg;
  • Meanwhile, the average cow price was up 2.2p/kg to 278.9p/kg. The O3 cow price was back 1.2p/kg to 310.1p/kg.

Meanwhile, last week, cow throughput in Northern Ireland amounted to 2,322 head, back 44 head from 2,366 cows killed during the previous week.

In the corresponding week in 2020, cow throughput stood at 2,570 head.

Imports and exports

Cattle imports for direct slaughter from ROI last week comprised 332 prime and 136 cows, with no cattle imported from GB for direct slaughter in local plants.

Exports of NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week remained similar to the previous week with one prime cattle and 95 cows.

A further 12 prime cattle and 22 cows were exported from NI to GB for direct slaughter.

GB beef prices: 

The LMC reported that last week, the deadweight trade in GB reported increases in prime cattle prices from the previous week.

  • The average steer price was up a penny to 410.6p/kg, while the R3 steer price was up 0.2p/kg to 417.7p/kg;
  • The average heifer price in GB last week increased 2.6p/kg to the equivalent of 409p/kg. Withers R3 heifer price was up 1.7p/kg to the equivalent of 418p/kg;
  • Meanwhile, the cow trade in GB remained “under pressure”, with the average GB cow price back 2.3p/kg to 265.3p/kg. The O3 cow price in GB decreased last week by 1.4p/kg to 294.7p/kg; this places it 15.4p/kg below the equivalent price in NI.
  • The ROI R3 steer price was back 1.8p/kg to the equivalent of 352.9p/kg. “This is 47.9p/kg behind the NI R3 steer price.”
  • Last week, the R3 heifer price in ROI was back 1.5p/kg to 357.2p/kg.
  • Meanwhile, the O3 cow price in ROI fell 1.4p/kg to 299.1p/kg.

“In ROI last week, the deadweight cattle trade prices remained under pressure. This, combined with a weakening in the euro against sterling, has resulted in declines across all grades.”

Further reading:

Read the previous week’s update. Beef price updates.

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